Through the course, I stepped outside my comfort zone and found a writing voice I did not know I had. The support of my peers and tutors made that possible.Lynn Bradshaw, current student
Our fully online Masters degree enables you to develop your novel at your own pace, at times to suit your lifestyle, from anywhere in the world. You will be supported throughout by our acclaimed novelists, who are experienced creative writing lecturers with valuable industry links.
Middlesex University pioneered the UK's first full BA and London's first MA in Creative Writing, and now offers the UK's first online MA which focuses solely on novel writing.
Our practical and contemporary approach to novel writing ensures you are able to hone your writing skills and develop your book while also identifying gaps in the market and how to approach agents and publishers.
Through our online campus you can access the support of our experts while interacting with others on the course, at a time to suit you, and you can choose to complete the course in one year (full-time) or over two or three years (part-time) starting in September.
Taught by some of the UK's leading creative writing tutors who are all published novelists in a diverse range of genres, this course is divided into five modules taken over three terms (if studied full time). Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own writing interests and projects to the assignments while extending the boundaries of your current practice through self-reflection, research, analysis, and creative exploration.
Note: This programme can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two or three years, whichever suits you best.
This module explores key writing techniques such as narrative, setting and characterisation, with reference to literary examples and the different methods used by writers in the creative process. This is an opportunity for you to explore the scenes and characters of your planned novel or develop a variety of ideas and approaches if you have not decided on the content of your story.
This module explores the contemporary publishing scene for novelists, equipping you with valuable insights into how the industry works and the issues it faces. Delivered through filmed guest talks from industry professionals you will explore the markets and audiences for your own novel with particular focus on researching publishers, agents, bookshops, e-publishing, self-publishing and reviewing.
This module moves on from the 'portfolio' focus of earlier modules to deal with the challenges of working on a specific novel. Through a series of writing exercises you will begin to evolve characters, explore themes and refine settings for your planned novel. This is an opportunity for you to begin the sustained prose narrative that is expected in the following dissertation.
This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and assessment approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in novel writing.
Our teaching team includes writers of a range of publications. You'll also benefit from our teaching staff's influence and contacts in the industry, with valuable insights from high-profile writers, publishers, agents and literary figures from across the UK.
You will have an online tutor for support and guidance throughout the development of your novel, and will also develop a virtual writers' group to share writing in progress.
If online learning is new to you, don't worry. You will be fully supported while you get started, and also have access to the University's helpdesk who will be able to help you with any technical difficulties should they arise.
You will meet, work and study with your fellow course participants and tutors in a virtual space which provides you with the flexibility to learn anywhere, anytime you have an internet connection and on a variety of devices. Our Virtual Learning Environment encourages you to share your writing, interact, question, and participate with others on your course, ensuring you never feel as if you are studying in isolation.
Your learning will be structured to include directed reading, interactive activities, workshops, videos, discussion, reflection, and feedback, carefully designed to encourage you in the development of your novel. A range of online facilities including electronic library resources provide a network of support whilst you study.
To be accepted to study on the MA Novel Writing, we are particularly looking for writing promise, ambition and dedication.
All applicants are required to submit 2,000 words of recently written work as part of their application. This should be as a Word document. It is likely to be creative writing in prose form, e.g. an excerpt from a short story or novel, or it could be an essay or piece of creative non-fiction, for example. Applicants will then be required to attend a short on-line or telephone interview.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
In addition to the application form you will be required to submit 2,000 words of recently written prose fiction (a short story, or extract from a novel).
You will also be asked to take part in a short on-line or telephone interview of about 15- 20 minutes. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, in particular what you like to read, what you like to write and why you have applied for this programme. We want to better understand your aspirations and interests and also give you the chance to learn more about us. There will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous. This is just to make sure the course is right for you.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
Although eventual publication of your novel will be your aim, and you will be well supported in that ambition, this course will also give you advanced communication skills that will be of considerable value in a wide range of other careers in the creative and cultural industries, including teaching or applying for a practice-based PhD in Creative Writing.
While this is a brand new course we expect our graduates to follow in the achievement of alumni from our Creative Writing BA and MA programmes who have gone on to successful publication and/or careers in writing and publishing.
Drawing on the expertise of published novelists with extensive teaching experience, you will not only develop your work to a publishable standard but acquire valuable communication skills which will benefit a variety of professions.
What made you apply for MA Novel Writing at Middlesex?
The course set up, and the availability of online reading materials, meant that I could weave my studies around work and play.
Having the materials in electronic form meant I did not have to buy the books or loan them from a library. The positive response I received when I contacted the department led to me signing up straightaway.
How do you feel the programme has prepared you for a successful career?
I began from the premise that I wanted to be able to do two things after the course: write a a reasonably "good" novel and move into teaching creative writing. I am happy to say that I have already embarked on both.
The programme has given me the tools, confidence and contacts to start to make a career out of writing.
The module Reading as a Novelist taught me literary criticism in a way that has made me able to read books (my own and those of others) with a more critical and informed eye. It also introduced me to writers and novels I had never read.
The Writing as a novelist module improved my writing skills and allowed me to write in different styles and genres.
In Developing the Novel we were pushed to actually start to become proper writers. We produced a synopsis, a speculative letter to an agent and an outline of our novel. All the modules have led to the final task: producing part of a publication-worthy novel.
Throughout the course, I stepped outside my comfort zone and found a writing voice I did not know I had. The support of my peers and tutors made that possible.
What has been the best thing about the programme so far?
The best things have been: contact with other supportive trainee novel writers via the forums and working with professional writers to polish my writing.
I cannot emphasis enough how much I have gained from the tutors. Their insights, questions, challenges, enthusiasm and empathy have made the course a really great experience.
Dr Josie Barnard is the author of five acclaimed Virago books, including two novels. She has taught Creative Writing at Middlesex University, Goldsmiths and the Faber Academy.
Dr Lorna Gibb is the Programme Leader for BA Creative Writing and Journalism, and the author of two well-received biographies. She is currently completing a novel commissioned by Granta books and due for publication in 2016.
Dr Sarah Wardle is Programme Leader for BA English Literature. She is a widely published poet with four collections from Bloodaxe Books.